Oregon’s Nonfarm Payroll Employment Rises by 4,400 in February

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By Gail Krumenauer, State Employment Economist

In February, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 4,400 jobs,
following a revised loss of 5,700 jobs in January. February’s gains were largest in professional
and business services (+1,000 jobs) and in health care and social assistance (+900 jobs).
Five other major industries each expanded by between 600 and 700 jobs. Manufacturing (-600
jobs) was the only major industry with a substantial number of job cuts in February.
Health care and social assistance continued its robust expansion, employing 292,300 jobs in
February, which was a gain of 25,900 jobs in the past 24 months. Nursing and residential
care facilities and social assistance both grew by 8% in the past 12 months.

Over the most recent 12 months, jobs edged lower. Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm
payroll employment dropped by 1,900 jobs, or -0.1%, between February 2023 and February

The private sector cut 11,300 jobs, or -0.7%, over the most recent 12-month period. Job
losses in four major industries stood out, each down by between 3,400 and 9,300 jobs. These
industries are information; professional and business services; manufacturing; and retail
trade. Four other major industries had smaller losses, between 500 and 1,900 jobs. In
contrast, health care and social assistance was up 13,800 jobs, or 5.0%, while government
was up 9,400 jobs, or 3.1%, in the 12 months through February.

While Oregon’s job growth has been close to flat in the 12 months ending in February, with a
decline of 0.1%, U.S. jobs grew by 1.8% with gains in every month of that period.
Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.2% in February and 4.1% in January. It has remained in a
historically low range between 3.4% and 4.2% for more than two years, back to October 2021.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.9% in February and 3.7% in January.

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